Slack and user on boarding

I’m sure CurrencyTransfer is not alone in this; but Slack has taken over in inter-company communication. 

There’s something about it’s sheer simplicity and exploratory use that makes it a pleasure to use.

There’s a great teardown over at useronboard.com that digs into the small design decisions that contribute to the experience.

Thanks, Steve

It’s a very sad day. Steve Jobs has passed away.

I think it would be very fair to say that he has ultimately achieved his dream to

‘put a dent in the universe.’

What an awe-inspiringly large dream, yet he made it.

Thank you Steve.

“and they have this thing called”

When telling an anecdote involving a topic that the audience might not be familiar with, it’s a good idea to lead into any technical aspect by saying something along the lines of:

“and they have this thing called x, and x basically works like this…”

It makes it much easier to follow and visualise a story this way, and gives the listener a boundary on what they need to know in order to understand your point.

On a similar topic of sentences that direct the listener/reader, James Somers notes how “It turns out” has an interesting effect on an audience by disarmingly leaping to an assumption without any rigorous testing as proof.

Skip the first paragraph

A while ago I read the book “On Writing Well” (amazon affiliate link) by William K. Zinsser. A fantastic book on how to write non-fiction. Amongst the many great suggestions made in the book, there is one suggestion that I find most useful: skip the first paragraph.

Most of us struggle to write the first paragraph and ‘introduce’ our topic. Zinsser suggests to just do away with the first paragraph and start by writing the second paragraph, the meat of the subject matter.

I would offer to extend that gem of advice and suggest that it applies when reading material as well.

Safari 4 tabs need improving

The Safari 4 Beta brought some much needed improvements to the browser, and the changes are noticable. The browser is snappier, more intuitive and has moved its relationship with the web standards to the next level. Great, except the tabs are frustrating to use at times.

Safari 4 tabs

When clicking between tabs, roughly 1/3 of the time I end up very subtly triggering its “dragging” action, instead of bringing the tab to focus. So over time I learnt to expect that to happen and try to click a second time in fairly quick succession.

This works most of the time, except when I click it too quickly the second time it minimises the browser. Useless functionality if you ask me. I’m not convinced the whole double-clicking to minimise is that useful, or even desired that often. Any way you look at it, the tabs are far from ideal in their current state.

Update: Apple have since come to their senses and changed the tab behaviour in the updated versions of Safari.

Apple without Jobs

Apple announced firmware version 3.0 for the iPhone yesterday, and the whole blogosphere was abuzz about the new features it brings. Except this time Steve Jobs wasn’t being mentioned at all.

Perhaps Steve Jobs was right in stepping off the limelight and allow “Apple to deliver extraordinary products“, as Apple have managed to generate excitement around a ‘deliverable’, rather than the ‘deliverer’.